December 3, 2015
Without the aid of CGI, George Lucas and his head of special effects John Dykstra had to build their out-of-this-world scenery by hand. The result was something special and different than anything viewers had seen before – a world so believable in its fantasy that viewers had no problem connecting with it. Lucas referred to the familiar aesthetics in Star Wars as a “used future,” where the technology has been taken for granted, as opposed to the clean and shiny scenes of other science fiction films.
Four decades have passed and viewers are now used to seeing more big pictures in stunning high definition 3D, but Star Wars has shown to stand the test of time. Why is Star Wars, with its outdated effects and general campiness, still so beloved to so many people?
Sure, you could attribute it partly to nostalgia, but there’s more to it. That’s the reason why younger generations continue to fall in love with Star Wars–why Star Wars: The Force Awakens is expected to pull in at least $1 billion. The story still holds today. What enables a story to still be so effortlessly enjoyable? On a technical level, how the story is facilitated through well-executed fundamental design principles.
Despite the outdatedness of the effects, the story is still carried on into today due to the original trilogy’s competency in the most basic of design principles: depth, contrast, negative space, perspective, symmetry, directional cues and repetition. These are design principles that can be applied to any design, including flat design like publications, data visualization, and visual content. They are a big part of what allows a story to be communicated in a clear and seamless way.
This infographic takes a look back at the original trilogy to identify the 7 things Star Wars can teach us about design and visual storytelling.
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